Welsh peatland project joins Global Peat Press Project (GP3)

Cors Caron NNR (Photograph credit Drew Buckley Photography)

Natural Resources Wales’ LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs Project is the latest partner to join a global network of organisations as they begin a communications collaboration.

The project will share the importance and value of peatlands as a nature-based solution to combat climate change, and to celebrate the successes of peatland restoration work.

The EU LIFE and Welsh Government funded LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs Project, is the first national restoration programme for raised bogs and for any peatland habitat in Wales.

The project aims to restore seven of the very best examples of raised bogs in Wales. Almost 4 square miles (over 900hectares) will be restored to a better condition. This represents 50% of this habitat in Wales and 5% in the UK.

The sites have suffered due to poor wetland management in the past and this has caused the sites to dry and allow invasive plants to take over, and crowd out important plants like sphagnum mosses, sundews and rare sedges.

Sphagnum forms the building blocks of raised bogs and as it slowly decomposes under waterlogged conditions it forms dark brown peat soil. A diversity of sphagnum is a sign of a healthy bog, and the peat it creates naturally absorbs and stores tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, helping in the fight against climate change.

Peatlands in good condition provide many of the things which society relies upon; clean water, flood protection, carbon storage from the atmosphere, and are also great places for people to enjoy the outdoors.

Wildlife will also benefit from this restoration work, for example feeding areas for birds like redshank and snipe will increase, and the creation of shallow sphagnum pools will be perfect breeding areas for rare invertebrates like the small red damselfly during the spring and summer months.

Patrick Green, LIFE Welsh Raised Bogs Project Manager said: “Joining the GP3 is an exciting step for the project and we’re looking forward to contributing to the project by raising awareness of our restoration work here in Wales.” 
He adds: “It’s also great to work on a local level in Wales in the communities where our project sites can be found, as well as globally to raise awareness of the role of peatlands in tackling climate change.”

The relay of stories from peatland projects worldwide started with the UK as the host of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November.

The joint effort will highlight the importance of peatlands to the planet and focus on the different ways that organisations around the world are working towards their conservation, restoration and sustainable management as we enter into the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

The Decade of Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.

Dianna Kopansky, Global Peatlands Coordinator for GPI, said: “Linking up to raise awareness of the potential of healthy peatlands for climate action, nature protection and our overall well-being is vital. Peatlands are a neglected ecosystem and by profiling the incredible peatland restoration efforts across the globe we hope to awaken opportunities and inspire action.”
“Peatland conservationists from around the world are coming together to share their stories about the work they do and the work that needs to be completed to fight climate change. GPI welcomes this coordinated communications effort from our peatland partners. Together we will be highlighting peatland restoration during COP26 in Glasgow in November, and throughout the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.”

Join us - share, learn, inspire, experience and act for peatlands, people and the planet. Follow and share using #PeatlandsMatter and #GenerationRestoration.